cover image Noah


Patricia Lee Gauch, Patricia Lee Gaugh. Philomel Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22548-2

Gauch's lilting prose-poem provides a graceful, animated underpinning for forceful, elegant oil paintings that locate the story of the Flood in an African setting. Green ( Father and Son ) deploys a palette of sparkling, jewel-like colors: ruby accents set off the plumage and skins of the birds and reptiles who gather at the ark; the brilliant emerald of the savannah plays up the hides of elephants, zebras, and other beasts. Noah is stately and regal in bearing though humbly dressed; ebony-black, he is patriarch of a clan of many hues. Green's use of sunlight and shadow adds richness and texture to his scenes, and he takes full advantage of the story's inherent symmetry (the animals, of course, come two-by-two), creating immensely pleasing visual echoes. A fresh, provocative interpretation, in which the spirited, rhythmic telling (it rains for ``one day, two days, three days, four, five days, six days and seven days more'') and vibrant visuals seem, like the ark's inhabitants, perfectly paired. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)